MOPS Excitement and the Devotion Devotion

Today was our pretty eventful MOPS meeting. The excitement included a small burner of Sterno tipping over onto the West Campus Fellowship Hall and burning the carpet, and a small child tripping and knocking out a tooth. (Those baby teeth are really scary looking when they come out too early!) On the more calm side of things, Vonda Skelton spoke about romancing your husband and I gave the devotion. Here is what I wrote for this morning:

I just love a good pun. My favorite birthday card was one with an anthropomorphized sweet potato on the front saying, “Aren’t you sick of birthday cards that rely on puns for their humor?” Do you know what the inside said? “I know I YAM!” So you can imagine my delight when I realized while I was preparing for this morning’s devotion, that devotion has two meanings. One of course, is a short thought provoking message that is spiritual in nature. The other means profound dedication or earnest attachment. It can also be used as a synonym for love. How perfect for this time of year! We can call this particular thought provoking message about love our “Devotion Devotion.” Loving it!

I know Valentine’s Day is controversial. Many of you coldhearted people out there would say that it’s a commercialized holiday aimed at the proliferation of singing stuffed animals and benefitting only the restaurant industry. There’s a part of me, though, that just LOVES Valentine’s Day. I love the red and pink color combo. I love the flowers. I love the chocolates. I love the syrupy sentiments on cards. I love the expectation of something a little special happening on that day.

This year, Alan and I are returning to a tradition we started in college but has been forgotten in more recent years due to the busyness and general craziness of parenting. We are making each other cards. Okay. Well I’m making him a card. And he’s writing me a love letter and getting me some chocolates per our negotiations. Most of our days are consumed with urgent things like taking care of the kids, going to work, fixing dinners. But when I receive my love letter on Saturday, I’ll know that my husband was thinking about just ME for a while. And he’ll know when he receives his cowboy themed card with lots of innuendo, that I was thinking about just HIM for a while. Isn’t that what the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts,” means?

Thinking about my card and Alan’s love letter reminded me of the expression that the Bible is God’s love letter to us. Usually, when people mention God’s love letter they seem to be referring to the frequency that God mentions his love for us throughout the Bible. That Love is a common theme. But what makes me awestruck is not just the wording and the final product. It’s all the preparation that went into creating this marvelous tale of how much God loves us. The craft that went into planning and waiting and ultimately giving the gift of Jesus. That while he was putting in so much thought and work, he was thinking about ME and YOU!

And then I stop to actually crack my Bible open and read John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And verse 14. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. . .
God didn’t just give us a 1000 page document of the history of the world, He gave us Himself. Just as there’s no separating God from His Love, there’s no separating Him from His Word. His love letter. His very essence. True to who He is.

On Saturday, the card and letter exchange in my house will be fun, amusing, loving. But the sentiments expressed will be only a shadow of what God has already written in his love letter to me. His gift of Himself. And my gift to him (lest the gift giving become one-sided)? To decide, once and for all, that it’s time to just stop hearing about that love letter, but to read and experience for myself “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is” (Ephesians 3:18).

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